Preferences can be funny things, or at least our judgments of them.
If I were to state that, “I have no interest in hiring a black person to do this job”, I would receive more than a little condemnation for that view.
The important point here is that Let’s say, for instance, that men tend to prefer women shorter than themselves as dating partners (the reasons for this preference or it’s actual existence need not necessarily concern us).
If that were the case, provided there are any average differences in height among the races, we would still see different response rates to and from each racial group, even though no one was selecting on the basis of race.
Now I happen to think that race likely does matter to some extent when it comes to dating preferences, but the degree of that extent is anyone’s guess.
To see why I would say this only requires that one understands a very basic statistical concept: correlation does not equal causation.
When it comes to mating, it seems that everyone doesn’t get to join hands and cross the finish line at the same time so that we all end up with equally-high self-esteem (I know; I was shocked too).This brings us to the second issue: mating decisions are often complex.